The BJP on Saturday refrained from commenting on Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s remarks on opening more trade routes with PoK and joint legislature despite resentment within the party. “The party and the government are taking serious note of it,” a BJP leader said.
Sources said that the BJP leadership is angry over the position Mufti has taken especially in public statements. “She may be addressing her constituency but she cannot make such public statements and BJP does not take it lightly at all, “ said the leader.
Mufti had apparently tried to reach out to BJP leaders, but could not. BJP sources said both party chief Amit Shah and General Secretary Ram Madhav were not available in Delhi. The party leadership is learnt to have instructed the state BJP unit to react strongly but national spokespersons have been asked to avoid commenting.
The BJP has been appreciative of the crackdown on separatists and does not seem to be keen to take issue with Mufti for now.
“The NIA actions against the separatists have generated political heat in the Valley. Mehbooba is reacting to that heat. We expect her to calm down in a few days. Why should we escalate it from our side,” said another BJP leader.
In Jammu, state BJP spokesman Sunil Sethi said that Mufti’s statement on Article 35A granting special powers to the state does not depict true picture and is politically incorrect. He claimed that the provision has done more harm to the state.
“The state subject laws, which are protected by Article 35A, are also responsible for slow growth and progress of state which has become fiscally dependent on central grants in view of little investment in infrastructural projects by outsiders who are reluctant in investing their money in the state.’’
(With inputs from ENS jammu)